Call for proposals

Announcement of the call for proposals for organizations associating or operating for the benefit of local government units...

23-07-2015, 10:25

 

Announcement of the call for proposals for organizations associating or operating for the benefit of local government units, as well as unions and partnerships of cities, communes, counties and regions under the Bilateral Cooperation Fund

 

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
UNDER THE BILATERAL COOPERATION FUND OF THE NORWEGIAN FINANCIAL MECHANISM  2009-2014
FOR THE OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME PL04 entitled:
"Saving energy and promoting renewable energy sources"


Minister of the Environment as the Operational Programme Operator
PL04 entitled: "Saving energy and promoting renewable energy sources"
announces the call for applications under the Bilateral Cooperation Fund
of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 at the level of the Programme for subsidizing projects with the amount of 367 647.50 EUR, i.e. 1 527 648.89 PLN
[1].

 

1.    Goal of the Bilateral Cooperation Fund at the level of Programme PL04

The goal of the Fund is establishing and strengthening cooperation between the beneficiaries – Polish entities and their partners in the projects - Norwegian entities, consisting in the exchange of experiences, knowledge, technology and best practices leading to the increase of awareness and building competences in the field of energy effectiveness, renewable energy sources.

2.    Entities that may apply for the subsidy

Entities which can participate in the competition as applicants are organizations associating or operating for the benefit of local government units, as well as unions and partnerships of cities, communes, counties and regions aiming at:

  • Improvement of energy efficiency in the public services sector.
  • Use of renewable energy in the heating systems operating in the public sector. 
  • Preparation of the infrastructure for using renewable energy in the public sector.
  • Improvement of the quality of energy planning in communes/regions (energy-production-consumption system).
  • Cooperation between institutions dealing with energy efficiency and/or renewable energy (cooperation platforms).

The target group, to which activities conducted under the umbrella bilateral project, described in item 3 of the call for applications, shall be:

Public and private entities providing public services, interested in the improvement of energy efficiency, use of renewable energy sources in the public buildings.

3.    Types of projects and activities eligible for the subsidy

The projects eligible for the subsidy are only bilateral projects prepared and submitted in partnership with an organization from the Donor State (Norway) which will contribute to establishing and strengthening of bilateral cooperation and the exchange of experiences, knowledge, technology and best practices between Polish and Norwegian entities.

The way of implementing the bilateral project is the "the umbrella project" scheme. The umbrella project is a project in which there is one leading partner - beneficiary (organization associating or acting for the benefit of local government units or a union, partnership of cities, communes, counties and regions) and many other partners – entities cooperating and implementing specific parts of the project, the so-called pilot project and/or micro-project (entities constituting the target group).

The concept of the umbrella project assumes that the beneficiary of the umbrella project is entirely responsible for its substantive value, organization and implementation, including the transparent and generally accessible recruitment of cooperating entities of the target group, initiation of activities addressed to those entities, selection and implementation of pilot and/or micro- projects, settlement and reporting (including the reports concerning public aid) with the cooperating entities from the target group, as well as for effective bilateral cooperation with the Norwegian partner of the project during the formulation of assumptions of the project and at the stage of its implementation.
Detailed principles concerning the obligations of the umbrella project's beneficiary with regard to the method of the project implementation and settlement shall be regulated in the contract on the project.

The division of tasks and obligations resulting from the cooperation between the beneficiary and the Norwegian partner during the project implementation will be regulated with a partnership contract concluded between these entities.

All activities planned under pilot projects and/or micro-projects in the umbrella project must form a generally consistent project having common goals.

The thematic scope of activities planned to be performed under pilot projects and/or micro-projects will be described in the application for co-financing of the umbrella project.

Adoption of the formula of the umbrella project in the competition aims at involving public and private entities performing public tasks, constituting the target group, in the activities related to the improvement of energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy in the public services sector.

The umbrella project(s) will be implemented by organizations associating or operating for the benefit of local government units (of cities, communes, counties, regions) as the beneficiary of the project that, in cooperation with a Norwegian entity (project partner) and entities from the target group (final recipients – public entities, as well as private entities executing public services), will implement pilot and/or micro-projects related to:

  • optimization of local energy systems,
  • integrated concepts for the improvement in energy efficiency of extended territorial range, 
  • construction of innovative energy management systems and energy consumption monitoring, 
  • energy planning enabling the implementation of innovative solutions and significant savings,
  • integration of the systems of production, distribution, storage and consumption,
  • heat recovery technology, 
  • integration of renewable energy in municipal power systems,
  • creation of the concept of zero emission cities (the so-called ZERO - E),

Activities eligible under the bilateral projects taking part in the competition are the non-investment activities consisting in:

  • Preparation of the implementation of innovative pilot projects,
  • Establishing platforms for cooperation,
  • Conducting research and analyses,
  • Organization of bilateral conferences, seminars, workshops,
  • Organization of bilateral study visits,
  • Conducting promotional and information campaigns.

4.    The amount of subsidy intended for the projects

The general amount intended for the umbrella projects in the call is 367 647.50 EUR, i.e. 1 527 648.89 PLN.

The minimum value of a subsidy for one umbrella project in the call is 183 823.75 EUR, i.e. 763 824.45 PLN.

The maximum value of a subsidy for one umbrella project in the call is 367 647.50 EUR, i.e. 1 527 648.89 PLN.

The amount made available in the call includes funds from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 under the Bilateral Cooperation Fund at the level of Operating Programme PL04 entitled: "Saving energy and promoting renewable energy sources" and the funds from the state budget, made available by the Operator.

5.    Amount of the project subsidy and the public aid

The level of the subsidy applied for is 100% of eligible costs of the project. The subsidy from the funds of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 is 85% of eligible costs of the project, and the subsidy from the funds of the state budget is 15% of eligible costs of the project.

Under the umbrella bilateral projects, the indirect public aid may occur at the level of the final recipient, i.e. entities constituting the target group in the project. The obligations related to granting aid to entities from the target group and reporting on the granted aid will be assigned to the umbrella project's beneficiary in the contract on the project.

6.    The eligibility period of expenditures in the project

The beginning of the eligibility period of expenditures under the bilateral project is the date of making the decision on subsidizing the project by the Steering Committee of the Bilateral Cooperation Fund for the Programme PL04.

The end of the eligibility period of expenditures under the bilateral project is 30 April 2017.

7.    Evaluation and selection of projects

The Applicants shall fulfill and submit for evaluation the applications for the subsidy along with the required set of annexes. The application shall be treated as submitted in partnership, if at the time of its submission a partnership contract or a letter of intent is signed by the Applicant of the project and their partner from Norway. The templates of a partner contract and a letter of intent are available for downloading below.

The evaluation of projects is two-stage and consists of formal and substantive evaluation. Only the projects which fulfill all formal criteria shall be subject to the substantive evaluation. The substantive assessment is about points. Positive result of the substantive evaluation is defined as obtaining at least 1 point for each of the criteria.

The submitted applications shall be evaluated by experts appointed by the Programme Operator in terms of compliance with the formal and substantive criteria. The Norwegian Partner of the Programme - Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate - NVE will also take part in the process of evaluation and selection of applications to receive the subsidy. The final selection of the projects will be approved with a decision of the Operator (Minister of the Environment) after prior recommendation by the Steering Committee of the Bilateral Cooperation Fund for the Programme PL04. 

In the course of formal evaluation, the Applicant shall have the possibility of one-time supplementation of missing documents, only when requested by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. At the stage of formal evaluation, the supplementation covers:

  • obvious writing mistakes and arithmetic errors in the application and/or annexes;
  • lack of electronic version of the application and/or annexes;
  • non-compliance of the paper and electronic versions of the application;
  • lack of annexes.

In the course of substantive evaluation, the Applicant shall have the possibility of one-time supplementation/explanation with regard to failure to meet the substantive criteria, only when requested by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.
When it is necessary to submit supplements/explanations, the Applicant shall receive a request via electronic mail and by facsimile (with confirmation of sending) to complete the application form or to present explanations.

The request shall define the criteria which have not been met, and contain a detailed indication of the scope of inconsistencies. Supplementation and/or explanations shall be submitted by the applicant within 5 working days from the date of the request for supplementation by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, however, not later than within 5 days from sending the request.

The list of applicants who have been assigned the subsidies from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism funds under the Bilateral Cooperation Fund for the Programme PL04 will be published on the websites of the Programme Operator (Ministry of the Environment and the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management).

The applicants who have been assigned the subsidies shall be informed by the Operator about being awarded the subsidies, and invited to sign the contract on the bilateral project.

The contract concerning bilateral projects shall be signed in the Polish language, and the amount of subsidy shall be expressed in PLN.
The competition is not subject to the Guidelines of the Minister of Regional Development on procedures of the selection of competition projects under the EEA Financial Mechanism for 2009-2014, and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism for 2009-2014, including The appeal procedure described in the aforementioned Guidelines.

8.    Payment system

The subsidies shall be paid in the form of a single advance payment up to 20% of eligible expenditures, refund of qualified expenditures incurred in connection with the project implementation and 5% of the final payment. The basis for the advance payment shall be the submission of the application for advance payment and its approval, the basis for the refund payment shall be the submission of the application for payment and its approval, as well as previous settlement of 70% of the amount of the received advance payment, the basis for the final payment shall be the approval of the final report of the project implementation by the Operator.

In the case of the verification of expenditures incurred by the Norwegian partner of the project, settlement can take place on the basis of independent chartered auditor's report confirming that the declared expenditures have been incurred according to the Regulations, domestic law and accounting practice in the project partner's country.

The above report should be perceived as sufficient evidence of the incurred expenditures. This principle applies to the Norwegian partner of the project according to Article 7.13.5 of the Regulations on the implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014.

The Regulations are available at:

https://www.eog.gov.pl/Dokumenty/Regulacje/Documents/Regulacje_NMF_2014_01.07.2014PDF.pdf.

9.    Eligible and non-eligible expenditures

For bilateral pilot projects and micro-projects implemented under the Bilateral Cooperation Fund, the categories of eligible expenditures are described in Article 7.7. Bilateral cooperation funds in the Regulations on the implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014. Travel costs include maintenance costs, according to Article 7.3.item 1 b the aforementioned Of the Regulations.

For umbrella projects, the eligible expenditures of the project management are up to 10% of the total eligible expenditures. In addition, for the pilot projects implemented under the umbrella projects, direct expenditures in the pilot projects are eligible according to the requirements described in the following articles of the Regulations on the implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014:

-    Article 7.3 Eligible direct expenditures in a project
-    Article 7.4 Indirect costs in projects (overheads)
-    Article 7.5 Purchase of real estate and land
-    Article 7.6 Excluded costs

Material contribution and indirect expenditures are not eligible expenditures under the bilateral projects.

Bilateral projects are governed by:

(a) general principles of the eligibility of expenditures listed in Article 7.2 of the Regulations on the implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014;
(b) all regulations concerning the non-eligible expenditures provided in the Regulations on the implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014;
(c) applicable provisions concerning public orders, i.e. the Act on public orders, and the Guidelines of the Minister of Infrastructure and Development with regard to orders under the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, which are not subject to the Act of 29 January 2004 - Public Procurement Law. The Regulations are available at: https://www.eog.gov.pl/Documenty/Regulacje/Documents/Regulacje_NMF_2014_01.07.2014PDF.pdf.

10.    Date, place and manner of submitting application

Competition schedule
Date of announcing the call for applications –      21.07.2015
The starting date of accepting the applications –   27.07.2015
The final date of accepting the applications –        30.09.2015

A complete application for the subsidy along with the required annexes, filled on the valid form and signed by a person authorized to its submission, shall be submitted in one paper copy and 2 electronic copies (2 CDs/DVDs or 2  pen-drives). The application form should be submitted in the electronic version with a signature and in an editable version to the following address:

National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management
Departament Ochrony Klimatu
3A Konstruktorska Street
02-673 Warsaw

The application in the paper form should be prepared in A4 format and put in a binder marked with the name of the programme, name of the project, and the full name of the Applicant. The electronic version on an electronic carrier should also be marked with the name of the project, and the name of the Applicant.

The applications can be submitted in person in the Office of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management during working hours of the Office, i.e. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or as a consignment via a postal operator or courier company, with an acknowledgement of receipt. In the case of applications sent via a postal operator or by a courier, the date of receiving the application is valid.

11.    Partnership

It is required that all applications are bilateral in nature and partnership applications, i.e. prepared and submitted together with a Norwegian partner. In order to certify the fulfilment of the requirement of partnership, it is required to attach to the application a letter of intent or a partnership contract. Before concluding a contract on the project implementation, the presentation of a signed partnership contract shall be required.

In order to support the process of establishing partnership, the applicants can use a list of potential Norwegian partners suggested by the Partner of the PL04 Programme. The list of potential partners is available for downloading. There may be many other potential partners from Norway as well - applicants must actively check relevant web sites in Norway, acquire information about Norwegian companies that already have cooperation with Poland, etc.

12.    Legal Frameworks and Programme Documents

A bilateral application submitted by the Applicant must be consistent with the provisions of the following documents:

  • Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the Kingdom of Norway and the Beneficiary State (the Republic of Poland), signed on 11 June 2011,
  • Contract on the programme PL04 "Saving energy and promoting renewable energy sources" under the Norwegian Financial Mechanism and of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, 
  • Regulations on the implementation of Norwegian Financial Mechanism for 2009-2014,
  • Guidelines of the Donor States,
  • Framework strategy of the Bilateral Cooperation Fund for the Programme PL04 entitled: "Saving energy and promoting renewable energy sources" - part II, i.e. Supplementation to the approved Framework Strategy of the Bilateral Cooperation Fund,
  • Terms of the competition,
  • Formal and substantive criteria of the evaluation of applications.

13.    Application form

The application should be submitted only on the form designed for this purpose, available for downloading below along with the Instruction of filling in the application form.

14.    List of annexes required for the application

The following annexes should be attached to the application:

  1. Documents confirming partnership in the project (a letter of intent or partnership contract),
  2. Project description (item 3.2 of the application form), and activities and implementation schedule (item 3.4 of the application form) in English,
  3. Framework agendas of study visits/conferences/seminars/workshops, specifying the purpose of conducting an event, its duration, as well as the profile and number of its participants (if envisaged in the project).
  4. Concept of innovative pilot projects (if envisaged in the project),
  5. Concept of establishing a cooperation platform (if envisaged in the project),
  6. Short description of research and analyses (if envisaged in the project),
  7. Concept of promotional and information campaigns (if envisaged in the project),
  8. Statement on the compliance of the paper version of the application form with the electronic version,
  9. Statement on the compliance of the English version of the application with the Polish version (applies the application form: items 3.2 – description of the project, and 3.4 – activities and implementation schedule),
  10. Statute and/or the founding act of the applicant,
  11. Other documents deemed necessary to submission by the applicant.

15.    Language of the application form

The application form along with all required annexes should be submitted in the Polish language.

The following documents should be submitted in English: project description (item 3.2 of the application form), activities and implementation schedule (item 3.4 of the application form),A letter of intent, partnership contract are annexes which may be submitted in Polish or/and English.

16.    Contact data of the Operator

Any inquiries concerning the call for applications in its course should be sent to:

National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management
Climate Protection Department  
3A Konstruktorska Street
02-673 Warsaw  tel. 22 45 95 819, 22 45 95 830
 e-mail: mfeog@nfosigw.gov.pl

Ministry of the Environment
Department of European Funds
52/54 Wawelska Street
00-922 Warsaw

e-mail: mfeog@mos.gov.pl

 

 

[1] The amount of the subsidies expressed in EUR was then recalculated by the Operator into the domestic currency and expressed in PLN, using the average monthly exchange rate, published in the Official Journal of the European Union (the C series), calculated for the last 6 months before the month of announcing the call, where 1 EUR= 4.1552 PLN)

 

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